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Forbidden Passion

Soap Opera Update



What do you do when you're totally devoted to your wife, but desperately attracted to someone else? This is the very painful - albeit human - situation that ONE LIFE TO LIVE'S Andrew has found himself submerged in His marriage to Cassie means everything to him, but at the same time he wants Marty so bad he can't sleep at night.

Marty has loved Andrew since she first set eyes on him. But the Marty who stepped onto the Llanview canvas almost two years ago was a young, troubled, rebellious girl. It is only now, as they've grown to know each other as adults, that Andrew and Marty realize that their emotions have taken on a power of their own: somehow their friendship took a step neither one of them intended, and put them unintentionally on the road to love.

The story is complicated even further by two factors: the fact that Marty also cares deeply for Cassie, who is one of her dearest friends; and the fact that Andrew is a minister, making these adulterous feelings, in his mind, all the more inappropriate and hypocritical.

Calling this titillating take a tangled web would be an understatement. But as sensational as it sounds, OLTL headwriter Michael Malone has actually presented us with a frighteningly believable situation in this complex drama about people who find themselves powerless to their emotions.

"I always wanted to do a story that involved good people struggling," says Malone. Instead of "the bad girl and the happy couple story," the scribe has spun a more sophisticated story that he compares to the classic tale of Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot. "All three people love each other deeply," Malone explains. "None wants to hurt the other…and yet here two of them feel this attraction to each other that they can't get through. Emotionally, Andrew and Marty are at a place where they've both acknowledged the feelings, and agreed that they can never act on them. So what they're struggling to hold onto is this: 'We can't act on this. As long as we don't act on it, Camelot won't come crashing down.'"

Of course, Malone reminds us, Camelot does come crashing down in the medieval literature…and in Llanview, we've also witnessed a bit of a fall: Last month, Andrew and Marty could no longer control their passion, and it spilled out into a kiss; a kiss so tied up in lust and longing and pain, that our hearts went out to them, even though we, as did they, knew what they were doing was wrong.

"When they're with each other, it's so strong, that it's almost, almost possible for them to just forget about Cassie and just say, 'Well, it's real; it's strong,'" says Susan Haskell (Marty). "But when they think just a beat beyond that, they realize what chaos it would create."

For now then, the two have vowed that the kiss is as far as it will ever go, and they will pretend that nothing ever happened and life will go on. Of course, savvy soap fans know this looks good on paper. But…Are Andrew and Marty kidding themselves that the feelings will go away if they try to sweep them under the rug?

"I don't think the feelings will disappear, and I don't think (Andrew) thinks they will disappear," says Wortham Krimmer (Andrew). "After they kiss, he talks to his father…the bishop…his counselor…so he's trying to get help and support, and he's not trying to go it alone. Andrew is an enlightened guy. He doesn't think these feelings are abnormal; he just never expected that they would overcome him in the way they did. Now he's just trying to get help to keep them under control. He's trying to pull back and get some perspective so that he doesn't blow what he has. He knows where his heart is - and that's in his marriage."

Haskell feels, too, that her character is attempting to put a rein on her emotions rather than wish them away. "Marty is just thinking, 'I can't do it.' I don't know if she's thinking beyond that point," says Haskell. "She just knows she's trying to change her life, she's trying to get control of it, put the past in the past."

How long the two of them can hold onto their vow and keep their secret from ever emerging is questionable. Malone hints about the possible "interesting developments" for the future, and we know that there are already several "loose cannons" in the story, including the one that could explode if the less-than-angelic Blair were to open her mouth: Although she's really seen nothing, Blair thinks she knows exactly what's going on between Andrew and Marty. Fiercely loyal to her cousin, she won't stand idly by and watch Cassie get hurt. Andrew has chosen not to tell Cassie about the kiss because "he'd only be doing it to make himself feel less guilty," Krimmer relates. "It would only hurt her and he knows it was wrong; he doesn't want to burden her."

But Malone hints that Cassie will not be "blissfully ignorant" forever: "She is not a foolish woman. She is not an insensitive woman; we don't want her to be a dupe in this story." Even Haskell admits that it seems next to impossible that the truth about her and Andrew can be suppressed indefinitely.

"It's going to be tough," she says. "They can't really avoid each other. They're supposed to be friends; she's friends with his wife…there's only so much they can do. And no matter how hard they try, they're going to keep getting thrown into the position of being alone together or with each other. I think they're both really trying (to put it in the past). I think they're both strong individuals. But so is what they feel for each other."